Project Professional Awesome Time Attack Evo: Part 0 - The End of an Era, the Beginning of a Legend

by Daniel O'Donnell

My name is Dan O’Donnell, I’m the driver of the Professional Awesome Evo and I’m a Time Attack-aholic. It’s been 4 years since I first started and it’s taking over my life. I have no money, I find it hard to focus at work and I’m slowly converting all my friends and family to manual transmission cars. They are concerned because I mutter confusing statements to myself such as “If I can just shave a tenth in turn 3” and “If the engine will hold 30psi, surely 35 won’t hurt.” I need help.

Some need more help than others. I, on the other hand, need Dr. Phil to cure my issues.

About three months ago I wrecked the Professional Awesome Evo during a Global Time Attack event at Road Atlanta. Leaving the track at 90+ mph and backing into the wall at 65 mph destroyed the chassis, ruined half the suspension and a fair amount of the drivetrain. With so much damage and little financial means to rebuild, time attack was put on hold and my life changed dramatically. I started exercising more, a relationship with a lovely young woman blossomed and I had free time to travel and enjoy a summer more than I can remember. Despite these changes, addiction is a hard battle to overcome and temptation lurked at every corner. A chance phone call with ex-competitor, Fortune Auto, flipped my world for the better (Or is it worse?) and with a new partnership formed, a replacement Evo was shipped out from Solid Autoworks in Salt Lake City and I fell off the wagon hard.

Our Time Attack Evo V2.0 is not a VII as used previously. As much as we loved our VII platform, it required quite a few modifications to work with USDM parts. These changes became more and more frustrating over time so either a VIII or IX of the USDM variety was in order. We ended up choosing a 2004 VIII with complete drivetrain as ours was substantially damaged in the accident.

With new support from Fortune Auto, Professional Awesome Racing has now started building our Time Attack Evo V2.0. The goal is to improve the areas we compromised on our first car and leave Limited Class track records so difficult to beat, that competitors grimace when they see the times on the clock. We’d love to compete at the Global Time Attack/Super Lap Battle Finals this year. We don’t know if it’s realistic or not, but we will try our damnedest to do so!

Before we focus on the future of the Evo, we thought it wise to reminisce about where we’ve been. With that in mind, we'll recap Evo V1.0 and throw back to curtain to reveal all our secrets (almost!).


Get back to napping hippy!

When you last had an in-depth read about the Professional Awesome Evo V1.0 on MotoIQ it was the summer of 2011; the Arab Spring was fresh and seemed like a good idea, the Shuttle Atlantis landed safely to conclude NASA’s space shuttle program and the Occupy Wall Street movement was just starting to get busy on their goal of accomplishing nothing. Needless to say, things changed dramatically from then to now for both the world and the Evo.

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Wes Dumalski
Wes Dumalskilink
Monday, October 07, 2013 10:03 PM
Welcome back PA!
Tuesday, October 08, 2013 12:51 AM
I can't tell you guys how much it warms my heart to see this level of sophistication coming out of an Indiana-based shop. As a fellow Hoosier and life-long gearhead, it fills me with immense pride to see such a killer team operating in my own back yard. I think your no-nonsense, grassroots, ridiculously effective approach to tuning is exemplary of the "Git-R-Done" attitude that can be found all over Midwestern fabrication and engineering.

Tuners on the West Cost can churn out fancy-pants racecars that are seriously quick, but you're showing the world that money isn't everything when it comes to going fast. By using your nous, applying strong fundamentals, and paying attention to important details you made Time Attack Evo V1.0 into a shockingly fast car.

I read about your crash in Evo 1.0 the very day it happened here on MotoIQ. Things were really uncertain at the time and you guys didn't know what the future of your Time Attack program would be like. However, I knew that cats as talented as yourselves couldn't stay off the track for long.

Your crash may have sucked big time, but I feel like it could benefit you in the long run. This sort of clean slate reboot is set to make Evo 2.0 a veritable giant-killer in the world of Time Attack. I just know that you will be laying down blistering lap times in short order. Your competitors will weep when they see that you've shown up to the same event as them.

Professional Awesome, what is best in life!?

"To crush your enemies! To see them driven before you! And to hear the lamentation of their women!"
Tuesday, October 08, 2013 7:12 AM
Awesome to see PA rise from the ashes.

Althought I could start to guess, how did the "glue strings all over the car and then drive quickly on a [closed track] to test our aero modifications work"?

Dave Coleman would be proud.
Tuesday, October 08, 2013 10:51 AM
Agree with the "less than ideal" catch can. Keeping the engine from consuming oily blowby air will really increase power and reliability. That can and the tubing seem a little small though.
Tuesday, October 08, 2013 1:01 PM
Surprisingly, the police pulled us over on the closed track just to figure out what the hell we were doing. Luckily I didn't get a ticket, but a certain someone received a ticket for riding in the back of a pickup truck with a camera. We took video of the flow of air, perhaps it's time to post it up on the YouTubes for all to enjoy!
Tuesday, October 08, 2013 1:01 PM
I want to put that quote on the back of the car!
Tuesday, October 08, 2013 4:00 PM
@ rawkus

DO IT!!! :D
Tuesday, October 08, 2013 7:18 PM
If you ever get the chance to meet and chat with these guys, I suggest you take advantage. I've met Dan and Mike a number of times at the hardware store I manage and they've always been happy to talk about the car and future ideas, even just after the crash.

When I first met Dan, he looked really surprised that I'd even heard of them, until I mentioned being a MotoIQ reader. After spending far too long talking and not nearly enough time getting back to me, he ended the conversation with, "What time do you get off work? You should come by the garage and check out the car!"

I'd just met him and was invited to come hang out and see the car. I wasn't able to that evening but he followed that with, "Well, look us up on facebook and let me know when you want to come over and see it." I've yet to take up the offer but I think I might have to now that V2.0 is coming along.
Tuesday, October 08, 2013 8:24 PM
You're welcome to stop in, but the car is in Ohio getting the cage worked on currently!
Tuesday, October 08, 2013 9:01 PM
Mike told me you had a guy lined up for the cage and I actually saw the stripped shell trailered out passed my work a while back too.
Wednesday, October 09, 2013 6:40 AM
Jamal, unless I'm mistaken, the only picture of the catchcan is the top of the radium one. That has a -12 going into the top and the hose on the side is just a vent line. The can pictured drains into another can below it. The vent line is used for proper drainage. That being said, we have yet to develop the perfect catch can setup that fits all of our criteria.
Wednesday, October 09, 2013 1:31 PM
Yeah I was having trouble with that on an evo too. Had a big huge baffled can up on the firewall that dumped into another smaller can (the original catch can), and was planning to put bigger fittings on the valve cover and finding a way to drain back into the block. But then some things happened and that project ended.
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